Cronin a racist – Malema

Youth leader waves race card again

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - PO­LIT­I­CAL BUREAU

ANC youth leader Julius Malema has bran­dished the race card at com­mu­nist leader Jeremy Cronin, ac­cus­ing him of be­ing a white su­prem­a­cist.

The ANC Youth League pres­i­dent lashed out at the deputy trans­port min­is­ter af­ter Cronin ques­tioned Malema’s call to na­tion­alise the coun­try’s mines.

Malema said the league did “not need the per­mis­sion of white po­lit­i­cal mes­si­ahs to think”.

Anti-apartheid strug­gle vet­eran Cronin sug­gested this week that Malema could not rise above sound bites and ques­tioned whether na­tion­al­is­ing the min­ing houses would ad­vance, or dam­age, far-the reach­ing trans­for­ma­tion of South Africa’s econ­omy and so­ci­ety.

“The im­pres­sion of a pol­icy be­ing made on the hoof, in­di­vid­u­al­is­ti­cally, is re­in­forced by the fact that we are yet to see any se­ri­ous at­tempt at a col­lec­tive pol­icy doc­u­ment on this mat­ter from the ANCYL,” Cronin wrote in an on­line ar­ti­cle on Wed­nes­day.

Malema replied: “Pre­vi­ously, those who look like us were con­sid­ered in­tel­lec­tu­ally in­fe­rior by the white su­prem­a­cists, and to­day Com­rade Jeremy re­flects the same sen­ti­ment.”

He asked why Cronin had only be­come con­cerned when the league wanted to save blacks from eco­nomic im­bal­ances by trans­fer­ring white wealth through such na­tion­al­i­sa­tion.

The un­usu­ally strong state­ment is­sued on be­half of the ANC youth leader has been de­scribed by one Com­mu­nist Party of­fi­cial as “def­i­nitely not writ­ten by Malema”.

The state­ment de­scribed Cronin’s ar­ti­cle as “openly re­ac­tionary, clothed in quasi-Marx­ist rhetoric, with po­ten­tial to make a sorry and sad re­flec­tion of the true char­ac­ter of the South African Com­mu­nist Party’s ide­o­log­i­cal stead­fast­ness.”

It ques­tioned whether Cronin’s “anti de­vel­op­ment and counter progress sen­ti­ments” rep­re­sented the SACP. It said that Cronin’s call “is re­duced to the ANCYL’s ob­ses­sion with bling to the ex­tent that we can never think any­thing de­vel­op­men­tal, but bling”.

SACP spokesman Male­sela Maleka said yes­ter­day the party would “not sink to this level of po­lit­i­cal and in­tel­lec­tual dis­hon­esty”.

“We find it very strange (that) the ANCYL calls for a de­bate on the ques­tion of na­tion­al­i­sa­tion, yet ... in­sults those who are tak­ing up the de­bate,” the SACP said. It de­scribed Malema’s re­sponse as “Mbeki-era type of in­sults”.

Cronin was once in­fa­mously called a white mes­siah by the late Du­misani Makhaye, him­self no­to­ri­ous for be­ing for­mer pres­i­dent Thabo Mbeki’s hench­man, af­ter Cronin crit­i­cised the “Zanu­fi­ca­tion of the ANC”.

Malema, whose re­sent­ment of Mbeki is pub­licly known, has also de­fended Mbeki re­cently against the com­mu­nist league’s call to charge the for­mer pres­i­dent for Aids geno­cide as the spat be­tween the ANC youth and the com­mu­nists rages on.

Cronin is the lat­est in a line of al­liance leaders, in­clud­ing ANC sec­re­tary-gen­eral Gwede Man­tashe and trea­surer Mathews Phosa, to be at­tacked by Malema for crit­i­cis­ing his call to na­tion­alise the mines.

Julius Malema

Jeremy Cronin

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